Viola Davis as Ma Rainey stands with her arm upraised performing in front of a microphone at center with other band members in background


Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. ET — A Virtual Gala

The Winter 2020 Moving Image Award Gala will honor director George C. Wolfe and the cast and crew of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom on Tuesday, December 15, in a virtual gala livestreamed to attendees at home.

The event will feature appearances by members of the cast, including Viola Davis, who stars as Ma Rainey, Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo, Michael Potts, Jonny Coyne, Taylour Paige, Jeremy Shamos, and Dusan Brown; director George C. Wolfe; writer Ruben Santiago-Hudson; producers Denzel Washington and Todd Black; costume designer Ann Roth; and composer Branford Marsalis.

Wolfe’s film is an accomplished and beautifully acted adaptation of the play by two-time Pulitzer Prize–winner August Wilson, featuring intoxicating central performances by Academy Award–winner Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman. Stuck in a sultry recording studio in 1920s Chicago, “Mother of the Blues” Ma Rainey tries to wrest creative control from her band and the white executives overseeing their session. Adapted for the screen by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a riveting story of the racial exploitation of the American music business as well as a vividly drawn character study of a woman who refused to be defined by the role society placed her in. Directed by Tony Award–winning theater legend George C. Wolfe (Angels in America, Lackawanna Blues), the film boasts a stellar supporting cast, including Colman Domingo (If Beale Street Could Talk), Glynn Turman (Men of Honor), and Michael Potts (The Wire), and an original score by Branford Marsalis. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will be available on Netflix on Friday, December 18.

Funds raised from the Moving Image Award Gala will support the Museum’s mission to explore all facets of film, television, and digital media, including support for education programs which serve more than 70,000 students each year — and for the Museum’s grand reopening.

Reserve your ticket here.